Song of Mateo

BAGUIO CITY – The play entitled “Song of Mateo” launched on February 10, 2017 at the Baguio City High School Auditorium featured the first theater arts production sponsored by the Regional Development Council (RDC) – CAR. It highlights the region’s continuing quest for self-determination.

The project has been one of the many efforts of the RDC to raise awareness on regional autonomy especially to the youth sector, said RDC vice chair and Regional Director Milagros Rimando in her opening message.

The “Song of Mateo” is a theater play adaptation of the “Story of Mateo and the Native Title” written in 2016 by UP Baguio Professor Linda Grace Cariño. The play tells the story of Mateo Cariño’s victory in the historic legal battle in the Cariño versus Insular Government which secured the doctrine of Native Title.

The Cariño Doctrine has been widely referenced both domestically and internationally since it was promulgated on February 23, 1909, according to Professor Cariño.

The students of the Baguio City High School – Senior High School Arts and Design Class acted in the play. The production likewise featured Ibaloi music culture known as Bakdiw – extemporized leader-chorus poetic verses, which the students learned through the guidance and expertise of National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos.

The Cordillera Stories through Theater Arts initiated in 2014 is a joint project by the RDC-CAR with the CAR Association of State Universities and Colleges (CARASUC) and Ifugao State University (IFSU).

According to Director Rimando, stories and scripts for the provinces of Abra, Ifugao, and Kalinga have also been developed for theater production.


by Mark Allen Ponciano, SPCAR